Class 10 oral exams likely to return this year
The state education department is likely to bring back oral examinations for Class 10 from the current academic year, according to sources in the committee that was appointed to review the policy.
Education minister Ashish Shelar confirmed that the committee’s report had been submitted to the government. “A decision on the issue is expected this week,” he said, without revealing details of the report.
Members of the committee, though, said there was a consensus on the need to bring back oral examinations, which counted for 20 marks.
“Concerns were raised about the disparity in marks between the state board and other board students as a result of which the former had to suffer this year,” said a committee member on the condition of anonymity. “Apart from this, experts felt oral exams allow schools to test competencies of students better, especially in languages, as it allows them to express themselves better.”
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) decided to scrap 20 mark oral examinations for languages and social sciences from 2018-19, as a result of which students had to take a 100-mark exam.
Without the oral exams, however, the state’s pass percentage saw a dip of more than 10%. Following this, the education department had to allow prominent junior colleges to add 5-8% seats to ensure state board students can compete against those from other boards.
According to data shared by the education department, out of 1,487 first-year junior college (FYJC) applicants who have scored 95% or above, only 301 are from the state board.
Keeping this in mind, the government formed a 25-member committee on July 9 to review its policy on no internal assessments.
Uday Nare, a teacher at Hansraj Morarji Public school who had written to the education department on this issue, said, “While internal assessments need to be brought back, it should not be limited to oral exams as schools might misuse them to inflate scores. [Internal] marks need to be allotted together for projects, oral exams and practicals.”